Migraine is a condition that causes a person to suffer a severe headache. Migraine was believed to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily influencing nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain. However, recent studies reveal the many factors that can lead to a person having migraines, including inherited factors. This article will enclose what migraine is, and its hereditary link.

Migraine is a condition that usually causes intense, throbbing pain in one area of the head, frequently accompanied by nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Now, to the question "can migraine be inherited?"
Yes, migraines can be inherited. An individual with one parent with migraine has a 50% chance of acquiring migraine. The likelihood of having a migraine grows to 75% is when both parents have it.  People who have migraines have at least one relative who has them.

Surprisingly, gene mutation inherited from parents is one of the ways that cause migraine. However, mutation can result from DNA copying mistakes during the cell. Experts believe that a cluster of gene mutations may be responsible for migraines. Researchers found more than 40 locations where mutations can contribute to migraines.

Certain types of migraine have strong genetic links. A person can inherit a form of migraine called familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) in an autosomal dominant pattern.

Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) is an inherited form of hemiplegic migraine. Hemiplegic migraine is a type of migraine with aura that causes mechanism impairment such as weakness in addition to at least one visual, sensory, or speech disturbance (aura) that occurs before the migraine headache begins. However, FHM commonly begins during childhood or even adolescence, and its symptoms can be dangerous and hurtful.
This means that a person only needs to inherit one copy of the mutated gene to have FHM. However, a person will not necessarily have FHM just because they have the mutation rather the type of FHM a person has depends on the gene that causes it. There are four types of FHM and they are:

FHM type 1:  

FHM type 1 is the most common FHM caused by mutations in the CACNA1A gene.CACNA1A is a gene that plays a vital role in the communication between neurons in the brain. It is located on the short arm of chromosome 19. Also, it is a deviation of the full name of a gene called Calcium Voltage-gated Channel subunit Alpha1A. Which is a description of the protein coded for by the gene.

To explain,  the CACNA1A gene belongs to a family of genes that provide instructions for making calcium channels as said earlier. These channels, which transport positively charged calcium ions across cell membranes, play a key role in a cell's ability to generate and transmit electrical signals. Calcium ions are involved in many different cellular functions, including cell-to-cell communication, muscle contraction, and the regulation of certain genes.

However, People who have hemiplegic migraines as a result of changes in the CACNA1A can lose consciousness or even enter a state of coma due to minor head trauma. Sometimes, these attacks can be mistaken for a stroke because of the severity and symptom overlap, but they are not strokes. In addition, people with CACNA1A can have frequent or chronic migraines that are not followed by weakness of one side of the body.

2: FHM type 2

is caused by mutations in the ATP1A2 gene and may be associated with seizures. The ATP1A2 FHM type 2 gene is located on chromosome 1q23 that encodes the Alpha-2 subunit of a Sodium-ion, potassium ion, pump ATPase. This catalytic subunit binds sodium ions, potassium ions, and ATP, and utilizes ATP hydrolysis to swap sodium ions out of the cell for potassium ions into the cell. The gene is mostly expressed in the brain cells of newborn children and neurons in adults. Also, a large number of mutations in the ATP1A2 gene have been identified to be associated with pure FHM and FHM in combinations with alternating hemiplegia of childhood, benign focal infantile convulsions, and other forms of epilepsy

FHM type 3:

It is caused by mutations in the SCN1A gene. SCN1A (Sodium Voltage-Gated Channel Alpha Subunit 1) is a Protein Coding gene that regulates sodium exchange between intracellular and extracellular spaces and is essential for the generation and propagation of action potentials in muscle cells and neurons.

FHM type 4

It is interpreted if no mutation currently known to cause FHM can be identified.
Note that If a person knows about their genetic link to migraine, it can help them get a diagnosis and receive treatment quickly.


Migraines, which affect children as well as adults, can progress through stages. When a person has a migraine episode, they may experience up to four different stages of symptoms. The stages of a migraine include:


Prodrome or preheadache is the stage of migraine that happens before a person has a headache. Prodrome can last from several hours to several days. This stage can include the symptoms like irritability, yawning, depression, and fatigue.


Aura is a type of visual disorder that can occur during a migraine episode. Several people who have migraine episodes also suffer auras. Auras tend to arise before a headache develops it's symptoms include: temporary loss of sight, and  blurred vision.


Postdrome is the phase that occurs after a migraine headache. Around 80% of people who have migraines experience postdrome. Postdrome can last 1–2 days after a migraine headache. Symptoms include: fatigue, difficulty understanding things, dizziness, and inability to concentrate.


A migraine usually lasts from 4 to 72 hours if untreated. How often migraines happen varies from person to person. During a migraine, you might have the pain usually on one side of your head, though they can develop on both sides and Sensitivity to light, sound, and sometimes smell and touch.


Migraine can be triggered by the following:

Stress- Tension at work or home can cause migraines.

Sleep changes-Either neglecting sleep or getting too much sleep can trigger migraines.

Weather differences. A change of weather can prompt a migraine.
Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, might provoke migraines. As a result, women are three times more likely than men to have migraines.

Drinks. These include alcohol, especially wine, and too much caffeine, such as coffee.

Hormonal changes in women. Variations in estrogen, such as before or during menstrual periods, pregnancy, and menopause, seem to trigger headaches in many women. Also, hormonal medications, such as oral contraceptives, can worsen migraines. Some women, however, find that their migraines arise less often when taking these medications.


Although there is no cure for migraine, there are various ways a person can manage their migraine episodes. Medications are a common treatment trusted Source for migraine. Medication for migraines can provide pain relief or help prevent migraine episodes. However, the following natural remedies will help manage our migraines.

Diet changes
Certain foods can trigger migraines. Common food triggers for migraines include:
Processed foods
Red wine
Caffeinated beverages

Being aware of what might be triggering a migraine is critical. Some people use a food diary or migraine journal to keep track of potential triggers.
Changing eating patterns may help to prevent migraines in the future.

Yoga or stretching
Yoga is thought to help improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension, which can help relieve symptoms for people who get migraines.

Massaging the muscles in the neck and shoulders can help to relieve tension and alleviate migraine pain.

Stay hydrated
Not drinking enough water is a well-known migraine and headache trigger, and it only takes minor dehydration to bring on a headache. People can try to drink more water each day to avoid dehydration. People with severe dehydration may initially need an oral rehydration solution to replace missing electrolytes. Drinking water throughout the day, and maintaining a healthful diet is usually enough to stay sufficiently hydrated.

Lastly,  Rest
Lack of sleep and too much sleep can be triggers for migraine headaches. Getting 7–9 hours of restful sleep each night can help to reduce stress and prevent migraines.


  1. Adam EI, Gore SM, Price WH. A double-blind trial of clonidine in the treatment of migraine in general practice. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1978;​28​(195):587–90. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  2. Kordasiewicz HB, Thompson RM, Clark HB, Gomez CM. C-termini of P/Q-type Ca2+ channel alpha1A subunits translocate to nuclei and promote polyglutamine-mediated toxicity. Hum Mol Genet. 2006;15(10):1587-1599. doi:10.1093/HMG/ddl080


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